Dare To Tri

Hy-Vee Triathlon - Women's Elite 038

I’ve done a triathlon before.

Well, it was a team tri (my recap from my other blog), but a tri nonetheless. For the “tl/dr” version: I did the 18-mile bike leg with virtually no training and despite slogging up a very steep and very long hill during my leg, my team won the women’s team division! Mainly because of our college-level swimmer and marathon runner…but I helped!

Fast forward to today.

I signed up for the North Mankato Triathlon in July. Why am I doing a tri and a half marathon all in the same year?

Because I’m nuts.

Well, not really nuts in the “padded cell” kind of way…more like “what am I thinking?”

I’ve always wanted to do one, but never had a reason to do it. Then, when my 3-years younger cousin talked about doing this one, I knew I had to do it. Her goading got me to do my first half marathon back in 2010 and the Warrior Dash last year. As an added bonus, my sister’s house is mere blocks from the park where the race begins. Benefit: no worries about parking/travel!

I suppose I should ask her if I can stay at her house the night of June 30th! (Laura?) 😉

I was also greatly inspired by Meridith over at Swim Bike Mom (seriously, she’s my new hero) to tackle the tri. Just when I think I don’t have time to train for a mere sprint, she’s training for a goddamn Ironman all while juggling two kids and working full time as an attorney.

Working at a law firm myself, I can tell you how many hours the attorneys put in a week: A LOT.

So reading her story every day as she recovers from a broken foot gives me motivation and strength that I too can do this!

Anyway, it’s a sprint tri; this means it’s a .25 mile swim, a 13 mile bike and a 3 mile run. I could do the last two legs right now without training too much, but it’s the swim that’s going to be the biggest hurdle.

I tried lap swimming at the local community center pool in the late winter/early spring of last year after my glute injury and it was a mixed bag. I really enjoyed the swimming part of it and it didn’t take me long to be able to swim lap after lap without much trouble. What I didn’t like were the very limited hours for lap swimming and how goddamn crowded the lap swim got when it was open.

I’m more than happy to share a lane…just don’t be a dick and whack me every time we cross laps.

That got old and I haven’t been back since.

Instead I’m going to tour a local fitness center that has a pool and spin classes to see how crowded things get at the times I’d be wanting to use the pool and will probably begin training in earnest this week.

I’m giving the ankle another week or two before I start running on it again. I gave it a bit of the jog test this weekend (only went ~10 yards or so) and it felt good, but since I still get some twinges when I rotate the ankle, I’d rather err on the side of caution rather than fight through the pain and make things worse. (see last year and the pulled piriformis muscle that took 5 months to heal to 98% because I ran through the pain)

Health Profile: Nick Dawson

I’ve known Nick for a number of years and we both share similar interests. We met through the now-defunct social network Pownce, but over the years we’ve had phone conversations and even met in person (Nick is taking graduate classes through the University of Minnesota) a time or two. Here’s his bio off his own website:

Nick Dawson bridges the gap between healthcare operations and strategic vision. With more than 13 years experience in hospital operations, he understands what makes healthcare tick. As the champion of an innovation success story, Nick is the Director Community Engagement at Bon Secours Virginia Health System. Previously he was a Director of Revenue Cycle for the 14 hospital Bon Secours system. In the past, he has worked for other multi-hospital systems and been a consultant on staff for a major health IT and strategy vendor.

Today, Nick works with senior leaders within the Bon Secours system on innovation projects including the exploration of an accountable care organization and affiliate physician and community health strategies. He is passionate about the patient experience as a driving force in healthcare.

Nick is currently pursuing an executive Masters of Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota. He is a past member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and can frequently be found posting about healthcare and cooking on his blog, twitter and Flickr. He speaks nationally and has been published on the topics of innovation, community engagement, revenue cycle and healthcare communications. On many Sunday evenings Nick participates in the #HCSM Twitter Chat.

Nick and his wife Susan live in Richmond, Virginia where they enjoy extreme skiing, camping and vintage Land Rover restoration.

When I found out that Nick went vegan for a short amount of time, I was intrigued. As you’ve read my own journey to going vegetarian, seeing that Nick and his wife doing the same thing at the same time was amazing. Especially since my nickname for Nick is “Mr. Bacon Man!”

The idea came up to interview Nick for Health Kitten about his own journey. Here is his story!

Click for Nick’s story

Whiny Wine

White Wine Reflection

This post was inspired by Holly over at Holly The Everythingtarian blog. As I’ve been reaching out to my peers and reading about their stories on their blogs, I find myself getting more and more inspired and energized as to my journey to health and well-being.

Holly’s story – and the fact she’s a fellow Minnesotan – really hit home.

Not to put down or slam any of the other fabulous women bloggers I’ve discovered, but as a 38-year-old, fit-but-overweight German/Irish woman (meaning: stocky), sometimes I feel 1) too old, 2) too stumpy and/or 3) too frumpy to be included in this group of health/lifestyle bloggers. Yes, I know that’s my Inner Saboteur (whom I call Bitchface) talking smack, and for far too long I let her drag me down.

Like Holly, I also grew up in a large family. I love to eat. I’m goofy. I have self-image issues. Counting calories and being hyper-vigilant about what I was eating also made me crazy-insaneo-obsessed. I also love to drink – especially wine. But her statement of “dranking doesn’t make you lose weight. FYI.” made a light go off in my head.

I love wine. I really, really do. It’s one of the few vices I have, and I thought that I could still enjoy that vice.

But, if I really look at my behavior when I have wine, I realize that after a few glasses, the munchies (not to be confused with the Monkees) show up uninvited and start a party of their own. I can’t begin to imagine the calories I consumed!

Thus, I need a goal: I’m going to not have any wine for a week.

Tomorrow night, we’re taking some out-of-town friends to our favorite cocktail bar, then to a new Japanese restaurant I’ve been dying to try. I’ll have one mixed drink at the cocktail bar, and water/tea at the restaurant. Otherwise, I’m going to not have any wine/beer/alcohol all weekend and through next Thursday. Yes, there’s going to be one drink in there…but in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t derail my plan.

If that goes well, then I’ll stretch it to two weeks.

This might be the hardest thing I’ve tried – and I’ve done a half marathon and a Warrior Dash!

(Me after finishing my half marathon, October 2010)

I’m not sure if I need to cut wine from my life completely or if I just need to reduce my intake. If wine is like my love of cookies, then I can’t have it in the house at all. However, if it’s like my love of cheese, then I should be able to enjoy it in moderation after my experiment is complete.

What challenges do you face with removing/cutting back on your vices? How do you overcome?

Quote of the Day

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
~ President John F. Kennedy

So true.

Today is the 2nd day of fall and we’re experiencing some beautiful mid-60 degree weather here in Minnesota. Tim and I are going to head out and enjoy the lovely fall weather! (and hopefully have some pictures to share later!)